The fact that cell phones may cause cancer has been a long-held fear by many often dismissed as pure myth. However, just seven months ago the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released an alarming study stating that cell phone radiation could be responsible for tumors in male rats.
Now, the organization is back with more worrying news. The NTP has completed its final reports on its long-standing cancer/cell phone relationship study and the outcomes do not look good for men.
A real cancerous link
The research has produced "clear evidence" that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR), such as those used in 2G and 3G cell phones during calls and texting, develop cancerous heart tumors. Even worse, the reports also showed some evidence of tumors in the brain and adrenal gland of the subjects.
“We believe that the link between radio frequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real, and the external experts agreed,” said John Bucher, Ph.D., NTP senior scientist. The NTP's work was supported by a panel of external scientific experts.
The project took more than 10 years to complete. It is considered the most comprehensive assessment to date of the effects of RFR from modulations used in 2G and 3G cell phones.
The studies saw RFR exposure begin as early as the womb for rat test subjects and continue for up to two years (the subjects' natural lifespans). Exposure was intermittent, 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, resulting to about nine hours each day at levels ranging from 1.5-6 watts per kilogram in rats to 2.5-10 watts per kilogram in mice.
Study exposure not comparable to real life
However, those tempted to toss away today's most important tool of communications may want to consider that the study's researchers did specify the levels of radiation the rats were subjected to were not comparable to those humans are exposed to. “The exposures used in the studies cannot be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience when using a cell phone,” said Bucher.
“In our studies, rats and mice received radio frequency radiation across their whole bodies. By contrast, people are mostly exposed in specific local tissues close to where they hold the phone. In addition, the exposure levels and durations in our studies were greater than what people experience," added Bucher.
The study saw its rats subjected to the lowest exposure level that is equal to the maximum local tissue exposure currently allowed for cell phone users. A =level such as this, four times higher than the maximum power level permitted, rarely if ever occurs with typical cell phone use.
In should also be noted that the types of RFR used for Wi-Fi or 5G networks were not included in this investigation. “5G is an emerging technology that hasn’t really been defined yet. From what we currently understand, it likely differs dramatically from what we studied,” said Wyde.
NTP will now provide the results of these studies to the US Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.